On Thursday, October 12, 2023 the Wilkes Barre Area High School held their annual fundraiser for the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania. The district holds a fundraiser every year in support of our Unified Track and Field Team, which is made up of people with and without intellectual disabilities. Last year the high school held an inclusive Pep Rally for the spring athletes and topped it off with a Polar Pop. Students were able to donate a dollar to vote for which principal they wanted to see an ice cold water balloon get popped over. Every pop helped support sports training and competition in our community. The district as a whole was able to raise $3,700 last year.
This year Miss Moran and Mrs. Bevan, with the help of the Education and Positive Behavior Clubs, as well as the student body committed to ‘Freezing for a Reason.’ To aid in this, Plains Township Fire Department brought their ladder truck to create a rainbow shower of water through which students, teachers, and administrators went through with spirit, some even more than once!
Students who donated $5 were able to gain access to the outside cafeteria patio during their designated lunch period. During this time, they were able to enjoy one of the last beautiful days before the weather turned, where they had the opportunity to purchase food items from a variety of food trucks. To enhance the atmosphere, the Plains Twp. Fire Chief, Mark Ritsick, volunteered to set-up his DJ system to play music for students. A senior volunteered to be ‘Wolfie’ for the day to generate buzz outside. The Dunkin’ Community Cruiser had free samples, gave away gift cards and had a fun corn hole area for students to relax. The All Belgium food truck was a fun twist on a breakfast staple, offering fluffy Belgian waffles topped with an array of delectable toppings from fresh strawberries to rich nutella. Hartman Jerk offered a platter of jerk chicken or pork, mac and cheese and rice and vegetables. Murt’s Desserts did not disappoint, selling out 6 dozen cupcakes of a variety of flavors including, Strawberry Crunch, Cookies and Cream and Pumpkin Spice just to name a few. The longest lines of the day were between the sweet offerings of The Ice Cream Truck and D’s on Wheels offering cheeseburger and fries or boneless bites and fries.
Students also had the opportunity to gain a few extra perks if they donated $40 or more! With the help from sponsors, including teachers, faculty, administration, and family members, we had over 30 students reach this goal. Some extra perks included priority in the food truck lines, earning a free t-shirt, and having the chance to run through the waterfall with their classmates, faculty and administration.
This year the high school student body, with support from faculty and family members, was able to raise $3,300 this fall alone! As a district we will continue to raise money for Special Olympics Pennsylvania throughout the school year. Wilkes Barre Area High School Unified Track and Field Team will receive 15% back from our total donations at the end of the year. Any and all donations can be made online at https://give.specialolympicspa.org/team/525497